Associate Editor Marianne Szlyk writes about the path some of her poems took this summer:
Even as we spend so much time online and Kindles allow us to dispense with the aching weight of books, print publication is still exciting. After all, print will be with us long after we need the Wayback Machine to track down those poems published online—and we can give print copies to friends and families who are offline.
This summer I learned that three of my poems would appear in print anthologies. Each set of poems took a different route into print.
The first poem, “Listening to Electric Cambodia,” appeared in The Blue Hour Anthology Volume Two. I was pleasantly surprised as I had simply submitted the poem for online publication. I did not expect it to become part of the anthology! In fact, my poem had been worked over quite a bit, having begun life as a pantoum in an attempt at poetic form, albeit one that did not rhyme. I am glad that I persisted and tried one more revision to my poem, adding just one line for clarification. The Blue Hour is a rewarding place to publish as readers often comment on the poems, prose, and pictures there, and I enjoyed seeing my poem in the same publication as another set in Pnomh Penh and a vivid photograph of children from Turtuk.
The other two poems, “Find Your Beach Where It Is” and “Seaweed on the Beach,” came much more quickly and easily. They were inspired by the theme of the anthology Of Sun and Sand from Kind of a Hurricane Press. Since I am a pale-skinned New Englander whose parents retired to Maine (not Florida), I associate the beach with cold water, seaweed, happy children, and adults who are bundled up. Fortunately, the editors of the anthology were open to my interpretations of their theme, and my images of children flinging seaweed while their parents shiver are together with other writers’ scenes from California, Florida, and elsewhere.
Responding to an unlikely theme can be a useful exercise, as we all know. I am hoping that the editors’ next theme will be equally fruitful.
Video games, anyone?